Democrats & Liberals Archives

If We Leave Iraq

Warmongers, like John McCain, keep asking us what would happen if we leave Iraq? They are afraid that genocide would take place. They describe all sorts of horrible conditions that will take place if we leave. They do not seem to realize that conditions today are already as bad as any they describe.

The situation is explained to us by 2 very different people: General Petraeus, inventor of the "surge," and Fareed Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek.

The word today is that Petraeus will not issue a written report, as has been promised:

A senior military officer said there will be no written presentation to the president on security and stability in Iraq. “There is no report. It is an assessment provided by them by testimony,” the officer said.

The only hard copy will be Gen. Petraeus’ opening statement to Congress, scheduled for Monday, along with any charts he will use in explaining the results of the troop surge in Baghdad over the past several months....

.... Then the Los Angeles Times reported that the so-called “Petraeus report” would “actually be written by the White House.”

Of course, the general is only doing what the commander-in-chief and the Decider is telling him to do. But it does show how much "progress" was achieved by the "surge" in reducing sectarian bloodshed.

Unlike Petraeus, Zakaria tells us about genocide as it is in Iraq:

One of the dirty little secrets about Iraq is that Iraq has increasingly been ethnically cleansed. It’s sad to say, but the American Army has presided over the largest ethnic cleansing in the world since the Balkans. When people say bad things are going to happen if we leave, bad things have already happened. Where were you for the last four years?

According to the article, more than 4.2 million Iraqis have fled because of ethnic cleansing, 2.2 million to other supposedly-safe internal locations and 2 million to foreign lands.

It cannot get any worse. More important, we are not helping. By taking the side of the Sunnis - which we are doing - we are enraging the Shi'a. We cannot act as a referee because we are occupiers. If we stop interfering perhaps the Iraqis could settle their affairs their own way.

It's time to stop talking about what would happen if we leave Iraq. Let's leave!

Posted by Paul Siegel at September 7, 2007 3:46 PM
Comment #232186

It can get much worse, but that’s not the fault or duty of our troops that risk life and limb while Do-Nothing Congress gives itself its 9th raise in 10 years while troops go without armor, medical care, and promised benfits. Congress holds the purse strings, but is too cowardly to use them. Congress has the duty to declare war, but abdicated it to Bush. Therefore, the death of U.S. troops continues.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2007 4:43 PM
Comment #232191

The situation is explained to us by 2 very different people: General Petraeus, inventor of the “surge,” and Fareed Zakaria, the editor of Newsweek.
Unlike Petraeus, Zakaria tells us about genocide as it is in Iraq:
Posted by Paul Siegel at September 7, 2007 03:46 PM

Paul, interesting that you should put all your faith and confidence in Zakaria and none in the top U.S. General of the U.S. in Iraq who received unanimous support of the U.S. Senate just a few months ago. It is quite easy to detect your distrust of our military and its leaders. On behalf of all the men and women serving in our armed forces I congratulate them on their heroic efforts on behalf of our nation and people. I am ashamed of those who put politics ahead of pride and patriotism. From the few comments I have heard on the new OBL video it sounds like he is giving the liberal Dems a good tongue-lashing for allowing this surge which by all reputable accounts is working quite well and with the continued support of Americans will succeed in making the world a much safer place. Yes, I said continued support for if that were not the case the congress would have already cut funding. If OBL and his followers could vote in our next election one can guess who they would vote for…and why!

Posted by: Jim at September 7, 2007 5:21 PM
Comment #232195

“The Petraeus Report” is really “The Bush Report.” Always was. By law. The legislation passed by Congress in April required Bush to provide an update on meeting benchmarks this month. The report will be written by the White House. As an officer in the chain of command, Petraeus will be expected to support whatever the Report says, regardless of his own opinions, regardless of whatever input he & Ambassador Crocker provided.

Do you understand this?

The good reputation of General Petraeus is being used as a front by the Bush administration.

The surge, if you will recall, was supposed to provide security- breathing room- for political reconciliation. Whether it is actually providing security is open to debate. No one can safely assess the situation in the streets of Baghdad and elsewhere because it is much too dangerous. Less dangerous? More dangerous? Who knows? It is still too dangerous to assess.

But in strategic terms, so far, the surge is a complete failure, because political progress is not being made…

Except in convincing gullible Bush Supporters to “stay the course.”

What a disgrace to our country! It is despicable to see how Bush and his supporters have dishonored this country, deeply dishonored this country, and treated its military like expendable pawns.

The Bush Report is just one more example. This time, the pawn is Petraeus.

Posted by: phx8 at September 7, 2007 5:59 PM
Comment #232197

A little progress in some areas of Baghdad (about 250 square miles is only 0.15% of the total 167,975 square miles took 160,000 troops years.

0.15% is a ratio of 672-to-1. The GAO reported only 3 of 18 objectives met. The cost (in lives and moeny) to fix Iraq ain’t worth it; especially not to just save face.

It is delusional to conclude that progress in 0.15% of Iraq equates to progress in all of the quagmire known as Iraq.

This is NOT the right thing to do to our troops, and most troops polled believe we should leave Iraq too.

Rewarding Do-Nothing Congress with 90%-to-95% re-election rates is why Do-Nothing Congress refuses to do much of anything about anything (except give themselves their 9th raise in 10 years and more cu$hy perk$ and benefits).

Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2007 6:22 PM
Comment #232206

As an officer in the chain of command, Petraeus will be expected to support whatever the Report says, regardless of his own opinions, regardless of whatever input he & Ambassador Crocker provided. Do you understand this? The good reputation of General Petraeus is being used as a front by the Bush administration. Posted by: phx8 at September 7, 2007 05:59 PM

And you know this is true because…? A. You would like that to be true. B. Someone told you, perhaps the NY Times or Newsweek. C. It allows you to trash our military and in particular General Patraeus. Yes indeed, I do understand. I also understand the “report card” only allows an “A” or an “F” with no gradation. Considering the requrements for the report came from a liberal dominated congress who embrace defeat and refuse to comtemplate victory I would expect nothing less.

Posted by: Jim at September 7, 2007 6:36 PM
Comment #232214

No one is trashing the military.
Again, it is delusional to equate some progress in 0.15% of Iraq as widespread progress.
That’s not a denigration of the military.

That’s a denigration of Bush, Rumsfeld, Gates, and the upper brass in-league to try to fool Americans that some progress in a tiny 01.5% of Iraq is reason for optimism. It would take many years and trillions to make Iraq secure.

To make matters worse, the U.S. is entering a recession (which I predicted in January of this year), we have a mortgage meltdown in progress, inflation is rising, umemployment is rising, corruption in government is growing, the National Debt is over $9 Trillion, Social Security debt is over $12.8 Trillion, etc., etc., etc.

So, it appears there might be something to those inverted yeild curves after all.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2007 6:56 PM
Comment #232217

Petraeus is a link in a chain of command. That is just how it is. He is obligated to obey orders given by the CIC, Bush. The White House, as required by law, will write the report. Petraeus will present the Bush Report.

The reputation of Petraeus will be used as political cover by the White House, to give the Report credibility, since no one believes anything that comes out of the White House anymore. Petraeus is a pawn in a political game.

The only people trashing our military are Bush and Cheney. They are beneath contempt.

A “liberal dominated Congress”? Hah! I wish! As d.a.n. pointed out earlier in the thread, the Democratic Party has too many conservatives and moderates to defund the war, or even set a timetable.

Posted by: phx8 at September 7, 2007 7:36 PM
Comment #232221

This copy of Patraeus’ letter to the troops in Iraq (etc.) was just released.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 7, 2007 8:20 PM
Comment #232222

Petraeus is a link in a chain of command. That is just how it is. He is obligated to obey orders given by the CIC, Bush. The White House, as required by law, will write the report. Petraeus will present the Bush Report. Posted by: phx8 at September 7, 2007 07:36 PM

Sorry phx8, that’s baloney. I served in the U.S. Army during Viet Nam and was never asked to lie by a superior officer, and if asked to do so would have refused. It is inconceivable to suggest that General Petraeus would follow an illegal order. There is a code of military justice of which you are unaware. Ordering those under your command to lie in report would indeed be a serious offense. Please back up what you’re expecting us to believe or apologize.

Posted by: Jim at September 7, 2007 8:33 PM
Comment #232223

Oh my God, Jim, are you really saying that Bush is capable of lying??????

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 7, 2007 8:55 PM
Comment #232229

Bin Laden also pointed out that there are not income taxes under Islamic law.Haven’t the rightwingnuts benn complaining about taxes forever.Nows you chance. Convert.

Posted by: BillS at September 7, 2007 9:24 PM
Comment #232236

The White House has announced that there will be no written report. The general will read a brief opening statement and then give a oral report to Congress.

Jim: Perhaps General Patraeus did as you suggested and told the President that he wasn’t going to have anything to do with the written report. The White House has been working on that report for weeks. I am sure that Cheney had a lot to do with the written report. From just what I have seen and heard about Patraeus, I’m sure that he is an honorable man.

Posted by: jlw at September 7, 2007 10:07 PM
Comment #232237

Sorry phx8, that’s baloney. I served in the U.S. Army during Viet Nam and was never asked to lie by a superior officer, and if asked to do so would have refused. It is inconceivable to suggest that General Petraeus would follow an illegal order. There is a code of military justice of which you are unaware. Ordering those under your command to lie in report would indeed be a serious offense. Please back up what you’re expecting us to believe or apologize.

Jim I served in Nam myself. I and others were asked to turn a blind eye by our company commander on more than one occasion when we were concerned about some questionable and not so ethical tactics. Please don’t try and push that puritanical bull down our throats. The patriot factor is also getting really old. Patriotism is great so long as we all have a common meaningful goal to rally around. But after four years of being played for fools by an unconscionable executive branch it is hard to put much stock in anything they have to say. When it comes to ethics and bending the rule of law the military is probably worse than our current executive branch. Generals are appointed and report to the CIC. And if you still believe after the last six years that Bush and his cronies are on the straight and narrow with us then I have some land for sale that you might be interested in.

we have no good reason to believe that anything coming out of this white house is a complete truth. These folks are devoid of integrity, credibility, accountability and moral value. They have done an excellent job over the last six years of showing their true colors. And if you can not see them then you must be color blind.

Posted by: RickIL at September 7, 2007 10:11 PM
Comment #232238

“There is a code of military justice of which you are unaware.”

Careful about making assumptions. I served as an officer.

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will provide their input to the report. But just because they might have a differing opinion does not mean they are free to express it to the public. They may express it to the president- and if they are obviously not on board, they would be dismissed- but having expressed their opinions, Bush & Cheney will make their own determinations, ones which include domestic political considerations and wider ones of national security; & Petraeus/Crocker will have an obligation to publicly support those determinations.

Being overruled on a difference of opinion, then publicly supporting it, is not the same as obeying an unlawful order.

Honor and integrity come into play, of course. But remember, Petraeus and Crocker will be operating in the realm of politics.

Many generals, after leaving the military, have expressed critical opinions which they would never have publicly aired while on active duty.

So count on the General and the Ambassador to fully support the Bush Report.

The problem, Jim, is that this was sold to the public as “The Petraeus Report.” It is not. It never was.

Posted by: phx8 at September 7, 2007 10:21 PM
Comment #232240

We served a world apart in expectations. I served from 1993-1998 in the USAF and if I had said something that I was strictly forbidden to by my suppiers (yes that also included lieing about something) I would have been sent to JAIL, FT. Levenworth. You know make big rocks into little ones. That was made abondantly clear to me. I as an Airman in the USAF could say nothing if I was forbidden to. You forget the Military is different now. Its all volenteer, that is to say…. when you solemnly swear or affirm you also give up EVERY constitutional right. Get the picture, these people can say nothing that they are told not to, and if they do they can go to JAIL, not only that but its a FELONY.

Posted by: timesend at September 7, 2007 10:33 PM
Comment #232243

I was against the war before I was against it. I am still against it and I want the troops to start comming home tomorrow.

We have watched general after general exhaust himself trying to conduct the war with the Cheney/Rumsfeld plan of action. Each failed and each was fired. As far as the White House is concerned, there is nothing wrong with the plan. We heard Cheney and Rumsfeld say this on numerous occasions. It wasn’t the plan, it was the generals.

General Patraeus is the first general to stand up to the White House and demand his own plan. I am sure that he wanted more troops, But the White House has never been willing to employ the number of troops needed and by then Congress had about given up and didn’t want more troops either.

Patraeus is the first commander to show some real progress however small. Had the Iraqi government made any progress at all, It might have helped to convince Congress.

As it stands now, I doubt that the Generals testimony is even necessary. Bin Laden says we should leave Iraq, Bush will get his money. In 2004 he told us that he wanted Bush to win so the people re-elected Bush. Now he wants us to leave so we won’t. Isn’t it amazing how well reverse psycology works. He wants us to waste our money, waste the lives of our brave young troops and make more enemy’s to fuel his cause. Cheney and his boys use Bin Laden to furthur their cause and We the People are the suckers. Why hasn’t Bin Laden been put up against a wall and shot?

Posted by: jlw at September 7, 2007 10:52 PM
Comment #232246


The question should be “when and how we leave Iraq.”

We are NOT going to just leave Iraq in a state of “flux” with Iran essentially taking over 1/3 to 1/2 of Iraq. Whether we like it or not we do have a huge-ass problem with Iran ………. and Syria!

The PNAC, AEI, Neo-Con experiment failed! They’ll never admit it, but they screwed the pooch and the pups ain’t pretty. We’re left with an absolute mess.

Interestingly even “Semi-Neo-Con” Charles Krauthammer sees that Iraq is “self-partitioning” into three seperate “states”:
The Partitioning of Iraq

“It took political Washington a good six months to catch up to the fact that something significant was happening in Iraq’s Anbar province, where the former-insurgent Sunni tribes switched sides and joined the fight against al-Qaeda. Not surprisingly, Washington has not yet caught up to the next reality: Iraq is being partitioned — and, like everything else in Iraq today, it is happening from the ground up.”

However Krauthammer misses by a mile here:

“Joe Biden, Peter Galbraith, Leslie Gelb and many other thoughtful scholars and politicians have long been calling for partition. The problem is how to make it happen. Top-down partition by some new constitutional arrangement ratified on parchment is swell, but how does that get enforced any more than the other constitutional dreams that were supposed to have come about in Iraq?”

Biden has been on top of this for a year or more. Iraq’s constitution already DOES allow just this type of “bottom up” soft-partitioning. Each province, or “tribe” if you wish, could (and should) form their own “police force” or “provincial militia”!

OTOH the Neo-Con model has been insistent on an American model Democracy which is totally unrealistic. Western style democracy can-NOT be achieved in a land where the majority respect Sharia law!!!!!!!!!!!

ONLY Joe Biden seems to have understood this from the “get-go”! This idiocy of just pulling out of the Middle East altogether is total BS. Our occupation of Iraq has created a vacuum and we must see it through.

Biden can do this with greater international involvement while leaving Iraqis with a sense of self-achievement. And we’ll still be able to hold Iran at bay without the threat of Nuclear intervention. It’s important to remember that present day borders in the Middle east were drawn by “dumb-ass” Anglos.

This is one place where Ron Paul is right; our actions do matter! We have no right to Americanize the world! That does not excuse AQ from attacking civilians, but it’s important to understand motivations.

And, of course, one must ask just what we’d do about Darfur if oil were at stake? fool me once …………..

Posted by: KansasDem at September 7, 2007 11:12 PM
Comment #232247

I think we should find a way out too, but it’s delusional to think the situation in Iraq can’t get worse. Let’s at least be honest about it.

Posted by: Gerrold at September 7, 2007 11:14 PM
Comment #232249

Screw OBL. Why is he still walking around? I do not care what he says. He needs to be brought to justice. 3,000 murdered Americans deserve vengeance.

I have said before, I think we should withdraw immediately; but even an immediate withdrawal would take months. It seems likely Bush & Cheney will stick the next administration with their miserable failures. But unlike Bush & Cheney, perhaps the next administration can come up with a plan more realistic than “stay the course.” What a concept.

Like many people, I have also advocated partioning Iraq for the past couple years. For all practical purposes, the ethnic cleansing & the relocation of fleeing internal & external refugees has already contributed to partioning.

Divide the country into three states. Each keeps its own oil/water. Since the Sunnis lack oil, the US would have to make the Sunni state viable through economic assistance, to replace lost oil revenues. A couple tens of billions of dollars a year for a few decades should do the trick. It would be cheaper and less violent than the current course of action.

It could get worse if the US withdraws. But it is pretty awful already. Iraq is a failed state. There are something like 30 factions fighting along 8 separate fronts. Hundreds of thousands have died, millions have fled their homes, infrastructure is a mess, and the economy is a basket case. We have already armed the Shias through the national government, the Kurdish Peshmerga are the most formidable fighting force after the US, and we are also arming the Sunnis. Meanwhile, the US is also providing the Saudis with, what, $20 billion in arms, and the Israelis with anther $30 billion or so.

But as for Iraq… part of the problem is that we have so few metrics, so few measurements & polls to judge the situation. It is just too dangerous for anyone to gather reliable, independent information.

So yeah, there are real risks to withdrawing. But there is also a chance the situation could improve, especially if we implemented a realistic political structure before leaving- one acceptable for Iraqis, even if not so good for the US.

Bad decisions have bad consequences, as we have seen. We have to find a way to mitigate the miserable failures of the Bush administration.

But there is no doubt, the US presence is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Posted by: phx8 at September 7, 2007 11:41 PM
Comment #232251

“it’s delusional to think the situation in Iraq can’t get worse. Let’s at least be honest about it.”


A lack of honesty is one of our greatest problems. Politicians love to promise the impossible. Those who are honest don’t get elected because …….. well, they’re honest about sacrifice, cost, etc.

Anyone that says we can just “get out” of Iraq and be done with it is full of baloney! Numero uno, we’d leave them with ZERO defense against ANY invasion force!

We broke it and we bought it! Now we own it! We’re responsible ……… period! If we just try to walk away it will bite us in the ass FOREVER!

Posted by: KansasDem at September 8, 2007 12:00 AM
Comment #232252


I mostly agree with you, but the central Iraqi government MUST implement “asset” sharing, which actually does exist in their constitution already.

Do you find it odd that Iraqi “welfare” is a positive issue at the same time that American “welfare” is still being denigrated by the rightists?


What’s next, another actor turned politician ;^/

Posted by: KansasDem at September 8, 2007 12:09 AM
Comment #232260

Well, I’ll be damned, FOX news finally reported on the Kurds entering into independent oil contracts ………. including wells outside their commonly recognized boundaries. CNN can’t be far behind!

FOX gets a B- on that account. Until now only NBC had reported on it and no one takes Olberman serious because he’s TOO biased. We’re headed for a gunfight at the OK corral over these “oil deals”!

And this could set up the perfect scenario for an Allawi coup! Then where do our troops stand?

Posted by: KansasDem at September 8, 2007 3:35 AM
Comment #232268

In case anyone really expected the “report” to change anything, I think we should just look at the military bases we have already established because those bases are not mobile or temporary. They are permanent.
Bush & Cheney decided, long ago, we would be in Iraq forever. And they were right.
No new president is going to recommend we just leave. We have too much money and blood invested in this stupid “war”.
Just two more items and then I’ll get off my soap box.
1. There has been way too little discussed about the numbers of our military who have returned home with only part of their bodies and minds intact. I find this to be astonishing.
2. If we were to pull out in the near future, all those Iraqis who have been displaced would be forever displaced. They would have no where to go for the foreseeable future.
I hate this war,but I see no way out of it for the present.
jack p

Posted by: jack p at September 8, 2007 10:12 AM
Comment #232269


No need to fear. Where oil is in peril Shoot from the hip George and shotgun Cheney will ride to the rescue. There is no way these good’ol energy boys are going to let a bunch of oil rustling Kurds infringe on their oil rights.

Posted by: RickIL at September 8, 2007 10:32 AM
Comment #232275

We will not get out of Iraq for the same reason we got onto Iraq. Control of oil.

Posted by: BillS at September 8, 2007 12:40 PM
Comment #232288

jackp, you’re right about no discussion on this particular thread of the maimed and wounded, but believe me, we have all anguished, wept, and ranted more times than I can count on here.
The gamut has been run by those convinced we are “traitors”, cold-hearted, unsensitive, and unfeeling of the sacrifice our military has made in this debacle some call a war. That is so far from reality that it’s completely absurd.
Just as an aside, check this out, it’s an incredible organization, and well worth looking into…..

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 8, 2007 4:26 PM
Comment #232303

I’m just not sure if we’re getting out of the middle east at all any time soon……check this “supposistional” comment..what think ye all???

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 8, 2007 8:06 PM
Comment #232312

And we continue to build a fortress embassy bigger than the Vatican. We are bringing freedom and democracy to the region by useing a Kuwaiti contractor,Kuwiati General Trading and Contracting, known to use forced labor from South Asia,working and living in appaling circumstances right under the noses of the State Dept.They are known to confiscate workers passports and use “bait and switch’ recruitment,promising high wages and charging the workers high immigration fees to keep them in debt for months or years. The same tactics used to ensnare sex slaves. After a Pentagon investigation that confirmed these practices no penalties have been announced.The contract is so secretive it is hard to find out what is really going on.Your tax dollars at work.,10/17/2006

Posted by: BillS at September 8, 2007 9:15 PM
Comment #232330

Sandra linked to:

If the Bush administration launches an attack on Iran, the reason won’t be that Iran was about to obtain a nuclear weapon. The real reason will be that United States, as the world’s only superpower, wants to establish clearly that it - not Iran — is the dominant power in the Middle East. That would make us all less secure, but the insistence on asserting dominance in the Middle East is the essence of the Bush administration’s policy.

You were right to call this suppositional. However, I have taken this as fact, though unprovable in a court of law, that hegemony in the Middle East was and is the aim of the Bush Administration’s actions in the Middle East, barring the invasion of Afghanistan of course, which really did not offer the kind of strategic positioning ideally needed. Iraq is strategically a vastly superior base of operations bordering so many other Middle Eastern oil producing nations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 9, 2007 1:06 AM
Comment #232331

BillS, and the argument after Bush has left will be, “But we have invested so much in Iraq, it would be immoral, imprudent, and fiscally unsound to leave it now, whatever the consequences.” You wait, Republicans will nearly quote me on the floor of Congress.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 9, 2007 1:08 AM
Comment #232344

They will not say exactly that of course but blather about economic progress etc.The real aim here is ,as you know, to advance American imperialist dreams in the middle-east and elsewhere. What arrogance. No regard for us minions that pay the price for this in blood and taxes.
Hate to admit it but the Dem. candidates are also buying into this anti-Iran crap also.Probably feel they have to. Iran is the key to a stable Mid-East. The reason the neo-cons are so fearful of an Iranian Nuke is it changes the steady advance of American dominance of the region.I recall Irans president speaking on nuclear weapons when he said to para phrase”If nuclear weapons provided security then why did 9/11 occur? If they provided stability then why did the Soviet union crumble? We do not want them.” We are pursueing a cold war strategy,doomed to failure,and may God have mercy.

Posted by: Bills at September 9, 2007 2:29 AM
Comment #232353

The Neocons will tell you that a super power does not lead by example and concensus but rather by domination and dictation. They will also tell you that this is the way it has always been throughout history, and that has been basically true until the creation of a new kind of super power, the United States of America.

Leading by either example and concensus or by domination and dictation is not easy. Both have major obstacles to overcome. The American People of today are going to have to make the decision; is the American ideal something new and unique in the world or is America just another same old same old super power.

Posted by: jlw at September 9, 2007 10:53 AM
Comment #232355

Some more interesting reading….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 9, 2007 12:52 PM
Comment #232357

Sandra D: That was a good one. It is always nice to know who we are dealing with and the Sheik looks like a perfect candidate for the neocons. There will be a new cartoon show in Iraq, The Sheik and Houdy Doudy.

Well, Bush is back after his visit to the nation of Al Anbar and his visit with the leaders of “OPEC.”

Posted by: jlw at September 9, 2007 1:35 PM
Comment #232359

Howdy Doody: Please accept my apology for spelling your name wrong. What, You disapprove of the comparison more than the spelling, Albert E. would have been a better one. I think you are right, sorry if I made you Mad.

Posted by: jlw at September 9, 2007 1:56 PM
Comment #232532

It has been 6 years since the attacks on WTC towers in America. The US then started combating terrorism on an international level.

In 2003 , the US started war in Iraq accusing it of possessing weapons of mass destruction. The war has continued and

its been 4 years , with increasing casualties of US soldiers day by day. Many American soldiers have lost their lives, some of whom were just gunned down by guerillas.

Inspite of many world leaders and media accusing the US of acting unilaterally , the Bush Administration has claimed that the US was justified in what all it did . Also , the troop pullout would only be possible after ‘building’ a sfe, democratic and peaceful Iraq , as outlined by President Bush repeatedly

There has also been a vote in the US Congress , with most of the Republicans in favor of troops remaining in Iraq.

As the Presidential election 2008 nears, the US invasion of Iraq and the ‘time-frame’ of withdrawal of troops ahs become a highly debated issue.

There has been a different stance from various candidates who are running for nomination.

Bill Richardson has promised an immediate , unconditional troop withdrawal if elected

Obama has said the focus on war on terror should be shifted from Iraq to the Pak-Afghan border where terrorists are ‘sheltered’.

John Edwards has also opposed the war but has said the he would go for a ‘phased’ pullout.

Most of the Republicans have a tougher stand.

Tom Tancredo has warned countries like Syria and Saudi Arabia to refrain from aiding and supporting terrorists - with threat of military aciton .

Tommy Thompson has said it would be difficult to find a solution withoout splitting Iaq into three parts - Sunnis ,Shiites and Kurds.

Many questions are unanswered. How far should the US go in combating terror ? Is the Bush administration right in its approach to combat terrorism ?

In wake of the Presidential elecitons due in 2008, the citizens of the US hope that there will be a well-balanced approach to fight terror , and at the same time, weigh military options wisely.

This wil go a long way to restore America’s tarnished image.

Sean Taylor

Posted by: Sean at September 11, 2007 7:13 AM
Comment #249060

Today (March 24) McCain has stated in public, in front of cameras, that now he, Gen Patraeus, and Bin Laden are all in agreement that Iraq is the central front in the ‘war on terror’. He said this with a straight face. He made no mention of even the possibility the Bin Laden might have an ulterior motive in his statement. It didn’t even cross his mind that an enemy might say something untrue. He didn’t even consider the possibility that Bin Laden is more than happy to see us bogged down in Iraq, fanning the flames of hatred toward the US, and to watch us squander lives, money, and respect while he rebuilds his forces relatively unmolested on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. That’s the kind of deep strategic thinking that we have all come to know and love over the past seven years.

The sad part is that for many conservatives it will be such a great sound bite that they won’t even stop to think how clueless this is.

I think that at least most of us can agree that McCain deserves his hero status. He probably has more toughness and courage than any ten people you could mention. But we do in fact face an enemy who is happy to kill us given the chance. We will be facing this enemy for the foreseeable future. But if we loose this one it won’t be because we aren’t brave enough or tough enough. It will be because we weren’t smart enough. Being a war hero doesn’t mean you are a military genius, or even competent.

I have some affection for McCain, and respect for what he endured, but maybe five years of torture has taken a toll. He clearly seems to be past his ‘use by’ date.

Posted by: John Fridge at March 24, 2008 9:12 PM
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